What’s it like on the road?
Flattering. Whether you’re sat up, playing at racers, heading off on holiday or filtering on a busy commute, the VFR does everything you ask of it, competently, capably and smoothly. The ergonomics will be familiar to anyone who’s ridden any Honda in the past 30 years or so — everything’s where you expect it to be.
The handling’s good and there’s plenty of ground clearance for general riding, though if you’re planning a trackday you might want to add a bit of rear preload and tweak the forks to improve behaviour on the brakes. Speaking of which, the new radial caliper setup has a really nice blend of power and feel, though some riders don’t like the relatively long lever travel and soft feel. Best of all, it’s good riddance to the previous model’s linked brake system.
The engine’s the star though. You can hear and feel the VTEC kick in at around 7000rpm but there’s no nasty step, just pleasing progress from low-down two-valve manners to a snarling four-valve top-end. The delivery gives a choice of gears in most situations but you might find a slight hesitation from a closed throttle, which can catch you out in second-gear corners. It’s no worse than most modern engines.
The VFR800 makes a great all-rounder with a stonking engine